Evaluation of National investment in research infrastructure

The Research Council will evaluate the National Investment Infrastructure Research (INFRASTRUCTURE). Both the effect, the social benefits and the organization of the scheme will be considered.

The evaluation will address:

  • effects of the INFRASTRUCTURE scheme on research and the research system;
  • the social benefits of funded research infrastructures;
  • the organization of funded research infrastructures;
  • the organization of the INFRASTRUCTURE scheme.

Based on the findings, the evaluation may provide recommendations for adjustments in the INFRASTRUCTURE scheme.

  • The Research Council will utilize the evaluation to document the desired effects of the INFRASTRUCTURE scheme and at the same time improve the scheme based on the input that is received.
  • The ministries will be able to see the effects of investments in research infrastructure through the Research Council.
  • The research institutions will be able to use the evaluation in their strategic work with research infrastructures.
  • Relevant research environments will be able to use the evaluation to better organize existing infrastructures.

The evaluation was approved by the Research Council's Board of Directors on 6 December 2019 and will be completed by summer 2021.

INFRASTRUCTURE was established as a tool in 2009 and is aimed at establishing or upgrading all types of research infrastructure of national importance. By this is meant research infrastructure such as

  • has broad national interest
  • lays the foundation for being able to conduct internationally leading research
  • there are one or a few places in the country, as a general rule
  • shall be made available to relevant research environments and industries

INFRASTRUCTURE also funds Norwegian participation in international collaboration on research infrastructure, including Norwegian participation in the establishment of projects in the ESFRI Roadmap.

Involvement of the institutions

The plan is for funded infrastructures to conduct a self-evaluation based on selected key indicators including a user survey for operating infrastructures. Relevant institutions must fill out a questionnaire. More information will come about this.

Evaluation Committee

The evaluation will be carried out by a scientific committee consisting of international experts with extensive experience in the operation and organization of research infrastructures. The committee consists of the following experts:

  • Prof. Lars Börjesson (chair), Chalmers University of Technology (SE)
  • Dr. Paolo Budroni, Vienna Technical University (AT)
  • Olivier Lefort, Ifremer (FR)
  • Prof. Riitta Maijala, Academy of Finland (FI)
  • Prof. Barend Mons, Leiden University (NL)
  • Prof. Åsa von Schoultz, University of Helsinki (FI)
  • Katrine Vinnes, Norsk Industri (NO)

This is how the evaluation takes place

As a supporting material, the committee will receive relevant existing documents, statistics / information on previous calls and approved projects.

As mentioned above, the evaluation committee will have access to self-evaluations from the infrastructure and questionnaires to the institution.

In addition, we propose that the committee conduct an interview survey with selected infrastructures in the operational phase, important users of the infrastructures, management at institutions that have received significant contributions from INFRASTRUCTURE and relevant selected members of the Research Council.

The evaluation report must be written at a general level and will therefore not assess the individual infrastructure.